What is education? This is perhaps an issue on which very few people can agree. How about good education? To some people, especially those who have not gone far in education, having a good education simply means going to primary school, being able to read and write, and perhaps spending some time in a secondary school. Others may equate a good education with obtaining advanced level certificates and being fluent in English. Many other people would, however, regard such people as these as having only poor education; they are half-educated, half-baked people who are more dangerous than even complete illiterates.
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators; however, learners can also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings, and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational.
Many people believe that a good and successful three or four years in university with a B.A. or B.Sc. degree at the end of such a period constitutes a good and sound education. To the high-minded, good education really means going the whole haul; that is, going from elementary school to the level of a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. Then one would have been fully trained and become a real master of one’s field.
To those who are really “educated”, a good education is not synonymous with specific qualifications. To have been well educated simply means that one has had a good general education which one has taken the pains and trouble to learn formally to read and write and be grounded or knowledgeable in many subjects in the arts and sciences so that one is fully well informed.
To have had a good education is to have equipped oneself with a fund of knowledge which can help one develop one’s abilities to the fullest and contributes to human development. To have acquired a good education is to have become knowledgeable or enlightened, instead of being illiterate, superstitious and unprogressive. However, seen in this sense, a person can go through the university and still not be well educated. To be bookish and narrow-minded is to have missed the benefits of good education.
Education is “power”. A good education is even greater power. A man who has mastered knowledge for a productive end, making money, growing more food, and creating beauty, through music, poetry, etc., for social pleasure, is a man who is truly educated. Education is in itself not power; it is the way we use it that is a power index of our achievements.
Because of the immense power and privileges which a good education can give, good education is a precious gem without a price value. It is invaluable. This is why parents and guardians spend huge sums to give their children and wards the best education available, no matter how much it costs. Good education is not a matter of facts learnt. It is the ability to use facts in the service of humanity. This is a great point which many of us in this country have not learnt. It is a lesson which we would do well to learn.
Why get educated? With good education, more people tend to think of legacy projects for which they will be remembered. Apart from higher incomes for individuals and opportunities in their lives, legacy projects build communities whose visions are passed on, thereby touching lives forever. Also, societal benefits are immeasurable as the populace enjoys lower crime rates, overall improvements in health and civic involvement, and a lower cost of living. Good education is beyond knowledge and degree acquisition.